00:00 / 00:00




By clicking my FOLLOW button, and signing up on Rhythmic Rebellion as a fan, you are financially helping to support my next music project!

Sep 21, 2019
Gracie Bassie is Disruptiing Old-School Reggae
Gracie Bassie Is Disrupting Old-School Reggae TAYLOR HEUSSNER | FEBRUARY 26, 2019 | 6:55AM Singer and instrumentalist Gracie Bassie has taken time finding her voice. Originally from Durango, she grew up listening to reggae mixtapes from her parents and acts like Ziggy Marley and Mighty Diamonds that radio DJ Rasta Stevie brought to town. After picking up the bass at eighteen, Bassie began touring, and pulled together a band in time to play Reggae on the River in California. From there, she got a call from reggae artist Anthony B . to play bass for his band in Kingston, Jamaica. For her, this was a dream come true, as she had always loved the country and the artists who came from it. ADVERTISING After four years, Bassie's returned to Denver, to start sharing the solo music she made while away. The latest of her singles is "Be Yourself," released on January 22. Westword spoke with Bassie ahead of her February 26 performance at Cervantes' with reggae legends Sly & Robbie . EXPAND Gracie BassieJustine Henderson Westword: Can you talk a little about the three singles you have released this year? Gracie Bassie: “Be Yourself” I released on my Dad’s birthday, because him and my mom, they pretty much wrote the song with the teachings they gave me. They were always supportive of me finding me instead of trying to fit me into some box. I feel blessed for that. The sequence of the three singles I have out — the first one is called "People Pleaser." I had a long journey of people pleasing and living for other people, and I think that’s easy to do these days, because there’s a lot of things that cause fear in every day. The next journey is “Love Yourself,” which I really think is a worldwide epidemic in people. So many people are looking outward, especially nowadays with all the virtual distractions...there’s a lot of pressure. I think in men and women — it’s not just about women, but the pressure to fit in, the pressure to be perfect and beautiful. I was searching outward for so long, and I didn’t find what I was really looking for until I took a U-turn and went inward. What do you find yourself often writing about? I feel these songs all speak the same message in a different way. Beginning of April, I’m releasing a ganja song. I support the ganj, but it’s not everything. It’s just a little element. How did you transition from being a backing musician to creating your own songs? I got more into the studio recording [in Jamaica]. As I was backing the artists, I was writing songs, and it was slowly accumulating. But I was having a hard time getting in the studio; that’s when I joined the university of YouTube, as I call it, and studied how to record vocals, how to mix, and I had help from friends, too. But I just pieced it together. With my singing, it’s been a journey of peeling back these layers of myself to find my voice. I couldn’t sing certain notes when I hadn’t processed certain shit that had been brushed under the rug. The bass is such a powerful instrument. I had no clue I would be a singing bass player. I don’t think of myself as a crazy bassist or a crazy singer, but it comes natural. So I’m going with it because I love it. EXPAND Justine Henderson What drew you to reggae? I fell in love with it, and it seems odd, because I’m this white blond girl. I totally stand out. I bought a bass when I was eighteen, and that same week I met Lincoln Jarrett, who became my mentor — my Mr. Miyagi of reggae, I call him. He took me under his wing, and I always gravitated toward the bass, because if you hear a concert, even if you hear music in the apartment building, you hear the bass. That’s what comes through. What’s been your experience with your identity in a genre that originated in Jamaica? I thrive because I feel it inside me, and to me there are different types of reggae. There’s Cali surf reggae, which is more classified as “white reggae,” but I don’t classify myself in that genre. I’m so rooted in the real Jamaican African music, which is weird, because I’m in this capsule, but I was immersed with some real, heavy foundation artists, and then I lived in Jamaica. That was my dream since I was a kid, and it ties itself into my songs, because people can do way more than they think they can. What are some barriers you’ve had being a female in reggae? My experience in Jamaica was really interesting, because I come from a place where I feel confident in myself, and I have always felt like I’ve been one of the guys. I am a tomboy and have gone the extra mile, even as a kid, to be as good as the boys. But in Jamaica, women definitely don’t have the same opportunities or freedom. There are a lot of expected responsibilities; it’s almost like it was in the 1950s. I felt like that with the men and women down there, but now there are more female musicians coming out of Jamaica. As someone who clearly loves reggae and loves Jamaica, how do you reconcile with the [fact] that the genre came out of a society that is still highly unequal for men and women? That’s the catch-22 for me. I had my heart broken because I was idolizing a lot of the culture and Rastafari, and I still admire a lot of the teachings about that, but for me, it’s a crucial time, because I want to support it, but I want to expose the fuckery, [as] they call it. I have some songs coming up that are ready to burn some fire. I want to speak up for people and women, especially those that don’t have that outlet. I’m tired of it. I don’t like seeing anyone mistreated. I think it stems from people not loving themselves. That’s why it’s a worldwide epidemic. If you’re raised in an environment where you’re talked down to, abused...there’s a lot of fucked-up things that can happen when you’re young, and you can either repeat the cycle or change the cycle, and it’s worldwide, but I saw a heavy concentration of it in Jamaica. A lot of reggae music sings about oppression and outward struggles, but I’m wanting to go inward and get to the root of the problems as to why people are acting the way they are acting. Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang, Bitty McLean, Cherine Anderson, Peter G & the Reggae Angels with Judge Roughneck, Gracie Bassie, The Groove Thief, Tuesday, 7:15 p.m. February 26, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, $22. Taylor Heussner has been writing for Westword since January 2018. She received her bachelor's degree in creative writing from Colorado State University and writes for myriad literary magazines. When she's not attending concerts, you can find Taylor searching for music, writing poetry or petting the neighborhood dogs. CONTACT: Taylor Heussner FOLLOW: Twitter: @tayheu
Gracie Bassie - Be Yourself Preview
The best advice I ever got was from my parents... "Be yourself", cause you can't be no one else..."Find your gifts, take them to storm, don't let them get a way. Cause so many people living this life won't get a chance to show thier way." This is a Gracie Bassie Music Production featuring Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace on drums, Cuatro Kruse on guitar and Gracie decorating the rest of the compilation with her various instruments. Mixed and mastered by Kyle Jones. Release date 1/22/19.
Life Lessons turned Music
Gracie Bassie
Be Yourself
People Pleaser
One Draw
Love Yourself
Sep 21, 2019
Playing Bass With Grace
Playing bass with Grace Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Grace ‘Gracie Bassie’ Kruse DURANGO, Colorado is a sleepy mining town with a population of just over 17,000. But the people there sure love reggae. Grace 'Gracie Bassie' Kruse was born and raised in Durango. It is where she discovered Jamaican culture from the many reggae acts who passed through. "My dad is a big reggae fan, he loves the real roots stuff," she said. "I would go to every major show; I just loved the vibe, everything about the music." Kruse, who is in her late 20s, is bass player in singjay Anthony B's band. She joined in September and has played gigs with the fiery roots artiste in Suriname and Grenada. She has settled in Kingston, and is getting in tune with the city's bustling music scene. "The experience I'm getting is priceless. I never wanted to be a tourist in Jamaica," she said. Kruse recalls acts like Ziggy Marley, the Mighty Diamonds and Sister Carol passing through Durango back in the day. At 18, she took up the bass and learned how to play the instrument reggae style from Lincoln Jarrett, a producer/musician from Clarendon. Her first big role was with the Dub Rock Band alongside Jarrett and her older brother Cuatro Kruse. They opened for reggae acts throughout Colorado including Sister Carol, the Mighty Diamonds, Junior Gong and Anthony B. After gigging in southern California, Kruse got a call last year 'out of the blue' from Anthony B's management. "They said they were looking for a 'bassie' and if I was interested. So, I'm here." Influenced by bass legends Aston 'Familyman' Barrett and Robbie Shakespeare, Kruse also points to the Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth among her musical heroes. She is looking to establish herself as an artiste/musician while in Jamaica. "I like to sing and play bass, so I'm really pushing that," she said. Grace 'Gracie Bassie' Kruse will perform with singjay Moeish at the General Penitentiary on February 26, and at Comfitanya's Ladies Night the following day. -- Howard Campbell